Jeremiah Manele elected as the new Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands | Latest in Elections News

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Jeremiah Manele, the former Foreign Minister of the Solomon Islands, has been elected as the new Prime Minister with the support of 31 legislators in the 50-member parliament. The election was closely watched by China, the US, and Australia.

Manele, who is committed to continuing the nation’s China-friendly foreign policy, won the secret ballot against longtime opposition leader Matthew Wale. The vote took place amid tight security in the capital, Honiara, to prevent any potential unrest.

Following a national election that did not yield a majority for any political party, Manele’s OUR party, which focuses on infrastructure development, secured 15 seats and formed a coalition with two micro-parties to gain a total of 19 seats. Manele needed the support of independents to reach the 26 seats required for a majority.

Manele’s appointment marks a departure from the previous administration led by Manasseh Sogavare, who had close ties with Beijing. Manele has vowed to work with all international partners to improve the economy and lead the nation towards recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Experts have praised Manele’s diplomatic approach and vision for a government of national unity focused on economic improvement. Manele’s priorities include implementing a value-added tax, establishing a special economic zone, and setting regulations for national resources.

Meanwhile, Wale, the leader of the opposition coalition, criticized the previous government for failing to create jobs and allowing logging and mining companies to dominate the economy while essential medications were scarce in health clinics.

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